Chill Out

Not everyone who visits the mountains wants to spend their days going up and down them in some fashion—at least not all day. Sometimes, especially when it’s extra chilly, you just want to chill. Summit’s menu includes tried-and-true ski-town favorites blended with creative options for light-adrenaline fare both indoors and out.

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Beach’n Egg Hunt
Fueled by warm weather (hopefully), Arapahoe Basin’s annual Easter egg hunt on skis marks the beginning of more sunny days to come at the Basin’s Beach with a visit from the big bunny himself. Open to nonskiing hunters, as well.

  • April 8, 2012     
  • Arapahoe Basin     
  • 888-272-7246     
  • arapahoebasin.com

The Outlets at Silverthorne
Let’s face it: shopping is as much a part of the vacation as the photos. Silverthorne says, live it up, because the discounts beckon. Don’t miss the much-ballyhooed Tuesday Morning, whose recent arrival was the talk of the town.

Ready, Paint, Fire
Nothing says “family” and “nostalgia” like handmade pottery. Mugs, plates, and as-yet-to-be-identified forms take shape at Breckenridge’s favorite do-it-yourself pottery studio.

Mountaintop Children’s Museum
If you’re 10 or younger (or in charge of someone who is), kick off your shoes to crawl into an artificial bear cave, fish for plastic trout, and examine skulls and scat. Ewww! Yet cool. Don costumes for improvised kids’ theater, conduct lab experiments mom has banned from the kitchen, or sit in the pilot’s seat of a mini Flight for Life helicopter. Kids’ Night Out (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) becomes parents’ night out once they drop the kids off for mountains of fun.

Cosu winter 2012 family silverthorne recreation center mc6mjf

Silverthorne Recreation Center
Besides being a fully rigged workout facility, replete with yoga and fitness classes, dance classes for parents and children, a basketball court, an indoor track, racquetball courts, and an Olympic-length pool, the Silverthorne Recreation Center is also equipped with a giant twist slide in its pool area ... not easy to find those in winter. Across the parking lot is Rainbow Park, with its own playground and one of the best sledding hills in the area. Down the road, North Pond, across the street from Silverthorne Elementary School, freezes up to form the perfect little rink for some impromptu skating or a family hockey match.

The Cage at Copper
The Cage is a retail store that also invites lounging around on bean bags watching adrenaline videos, as well as playing ping pong and video games ... like a modern version of the archaic arcades from many a junior-high memory. Because when your adrenaline runs out, there’s usually enough left to watch action sports or challenge your friends to some foosball. For kids with legs that just won’t quit, the Cage also features a skateboarding mini-bowl. If they don’t want to drop in and prefer to get in touch with their artistic side, they can also design and paint their own skateboard deck.

Breckenridge Historical Tours
Breckenridge’s history is long and lurid. Let the experts take you on one of a variety of tours, including walking tours, a haunted tour, snowshoe tours, a saloon tour with distillery tasting, and tours to local mines. What better way to get a sense of Breckenridge, then and now?

Chocolate Village
Mouthwatering but made for eye candy only, the village is built from 2,500 pounds of chocolate and includes a fully operating mini gondola and a life-size white chocolate Christmas tree. If you find yourself in Keystone from mid-December through New Year’s, nothing will fill you with a sense of holiday magic—and an urge to pig out—like this detailed and delicious village.

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Summit Specialties: Kidtopia
Kidtopia’s home base, at Warren Station in River Run at the base of Keystone, promises a warm refuge where kids can make snowflakes, do face painting, make winter crafts, and have snacks—all for free as part of Kidtopia Family Weeks. The cherry on this sundae, though, is the snow fort at the top of the gondola. With 15-foot walls, a maze, a slide, and a lookout tower, it’s a fortress for kids of any size, compelling any family to ask, “Who’s the king of this castle?” Whoever dodges the most snowballs, perhaps. Beginning in late December, the fort opens at 11 a.m., so there’s time for a good breakfast before the battle begins.

Also on tap on a regular schedule are the Aloha Lunch Skate, cookie decorating, Disco Tubing at night (reservations required at 970-496-4386), fireworks, Glow Bug Skate Night at Keystone’s outdoor rink, and Ripperoo’s Village Parade, as well as ice skating instructors for the beginningest of beginners, ages 4 to 8. Check online for each event’s regular schedule, or learn more about Kidtopia Family Weeks (December 27 through January 3, January 13–16, February 4–5, February 17–20, March 10–14, March 17–21).

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